I'm not sure. :roll: I was working on one of them yesterday and planed it down to about 1/4" Using my Bending Branches canoe paddle as a goby, upon casual inspection it "seems" thinner. But after a closer look it would appear that perhaps it too is about 1/4" thick, but tapering at the edges a bit. Wish I had a caliper.
I'll probably put down the spokeshave and just hit it with the sander now to get it a tad bit thinner. It actually has a little flex in it, so I don't think i'll go too much further.
Thanks again everybody. Been trying to take my time and not rush into any mistakes.
More progress, and an encouraging find...
Making a square peg fit in a round hole
This went fairly well, but not without a little aggravation. Note to self: next time (if there is a next time) buy straight grain wood stock. One of my paddle shaft halves has a tighter grain (you can see on the picture), but that's not the problem. The grain is not straight. More wavey. That's causing a little extra work... having to change directions of my draw on the spoke shave. A bit of a pain in the neck.
Here's what I'm happy about... I weighed my paddle and compared it to my aluminum & plastic kayak paddle. I've been concerned that the wooden paddle will be heavy. Well right now, they are roughly the same weigh (according to my bathroom scale). 3.8 lbs. I've still got some work to shape the shaft, so it'll drop some more. Of course glassing the blades, sealing with epoxy and varnishing will add some weight back, but at least it will be in the ballpark with my other paddle.
when you/re down to an octagon profile, try a small plane
its larger sole lets me take a finer, more controlled cut than a spokeshave, especially when working with "lady grain" - that's grain that can't make up its mind which way it wants to go, but don't tell your wife that's what it's called
Here's a snap of my notebook. I decided to be smart this time and keep track of what the hell I'm doing, while I'm doing it.
The total length of the ash was 8', so there's 16" of solid shaft between the two hollow sections (or 8" on the end of each paddle half). The paddle blades are ~17.5" long, so I've got ~2.5 " of solid shaft above the top of the blades.
I'm happy to report that things are moving along well on my kayak paddle. Not fast, but moving nonetheless.
I want to share a huge learning (sorry for the corporate speak) I had while working on this project. After trying to clamp down a round shaft to a flat surface for the 8 or 9th (hundred!) time, I pulled up trusty old Google and looked for something I recall seeing some time in the past. Let me tell you, if you are going to build a paddle (even just one) it will be worth your while to build a schnitzelbank. That's right, I said it. A schnitzelbank. Or a shaving horse, if you want to use the easy term. After doing some internet research, I kluged together a design of my own and built it in one afternoon with 4 2x4s and one dowel. All said, cost was under $15, but it is a priceless work platform for what I'm doing. It's far from perfect; leans a little, slightly wobbly, could undergo some major improvements, but it's getting the job done. There are some really complicated designs on the internet.
I stapled the rags on today. One of the designs I saw online had leather. As I'm getting closer to the final thickness on one of the paddles, I've noticed the pine is marring the shaft somewhat from the pressure I put on it. Hopefully, the rags will take off those harsh edges. That's my Crazy Creek chair I'm using as a seat. I was too eager to start using the thing to build a deck/seat to sit on. :roll:
And here's the results of my work so far. I'm pretty happy with it so far.
Shaft on the right, just a hair over 1.25" diameter. Shaft on left, just a hair under 1.50". Spokeshave and 80 grit sandpaper down to just under 1.30". Then I hit it with 150 grit, then 220.
Kayak Jack - you'll be happy to know I've left the shaft oblong roughly where my hand placement will be. You can somewhat see the bulge in the lower shaft. On the top, you can see my "no spokeshave zone" marked on the shaft.
And finally, where the paddle face meets the shaft. I'm leaving that for last. I want to get the second paddle trimmed/shaped down so that I can tackle them both at the same time.
Good retro-thinking, Russ! Old fellas, while sneaky and bear watching, do have something useful to contribute from time to time. Those old craftsmen (Seedtick and Keith come to mind here), solved the problems once or twice already.
I wonder a whatiffen. Whatiffen the face that bites onto the rounded paddle loom, we're concave under those rags? Could provide more bearing surface and less deformation?
All around, a tip o' my hat to you. (Make more salsa.). Sorry, don't know how that slipped out.
Good job, Russ. Interesting how a those old timers figured out how to build the right tool for the job. I used a shaving horse to make an ash selfbow. I would say it was not only a good tool for the job, it was the perfect tool for the job. Held the work solidly, quick to clamp and unclamp, and the main thing.......how can you not love a tool that allows you to sit and work. :mrgreen: